Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
KINGMAN – Taking a field trip to Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh would be a long shot for students at White Cliffs Middle School, so Hayden Ekstrom and Jason Dohoda drove 2,100 miles in three days to bring “Science Takes Flight” to the kids.
It’s part of the center’s Science on the Road program, with this trip organized by Soroptimist International of Kingman and sponsored by a number of local businesses.
Ekstrom and Dohoda visited Kingman Academy of Learning, Kingman Middle School, White Cliffs Middle School and Black Mountain School during the week, engaging students in interactive exhibits such as a flight simulator, airplane gliders and foam missile launches.
About 450 seventh- and eighth-graders packed the White Cliffs gym for an assembly Wednesday, followed by the sixth-graders, going to eight stations to learn about scientific principles of flight.
“It’s been an awesome experience,” White Cliffs principal Tonia Cobanovich said. “The kids love it. They’re having a great time.”
National Honor Society students from Lee Williams High School volunteered to man the stations and talk about how air flow is forced over a curved surface to create lift, the importance of material strength and weight, and the relationship between mass and density.
“When I moved to Pittsburgh, I got real passionate about science outreach in education and bringing science to the masses because it’s important in the future to have science-literate students,” said Ekstrom, a 2012 graduate of Kingman High School and University of Arizona graduate.
Ekstrom said students are free to look at the different activities and maybe find something that catches their attention.
“We don’t know a kid’s strengths and weaknesses, so if we can get one kid to click, driving the 2,100 miles is worth it,” he said.
Dohoda said he sees a lot of interaction among older students at the various exhibit stations. Some of them may have a pilot’s license and flown themselves, others may be familiar with the technology used for flight simulators.
“If they’re not interested in flying, maybe they’re interested in engineering or biology,” Dohoda said.
Carnegie Science Center provided an inflatable planetarium to be used for “An Intergalactic Adventure” cocktail party at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Kingnman Boys and Girls Club, 301 N. First St. Cost is $30 for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and proceeds will benefit the Boys and Girls Club.